Lindt has partnered with cocoa-free chocolate brand ChoViva to launch a limited-edition vegan chocolate bar for Veganuary.
Called Soft & Creamy Hazelnut (€3.49/95g), the NPD will launch exclusively in Germany on 4 January under Lindt’s sub-brand Hello.
It comprises ChoViva’s cocoa-free “oat creme filling with hazelnut and oat cookie pieces”, enrobed in Lindt’s vegan chocolate.
A limited run of 1,000 handmade bars will be available to order DTC via Lindt’s webstore.
ChoViva is the brainchild of food tech startup Planet A Foods, which developed its cocoa-free chocolate by fermenting oats and sunflower seeds.
Planet A Foods claims ChoViva produces 90% less CO2 emissions per kilo manufactured than regular chocolate.
While the outer chocolate layer in the Soft & Creamy Hazelnut bar did contain cocoa, the partnership was still significant, said head of marketing Ute Schellenberg.
This was because any use of ChoViva’s cocoa-free chocolate would help relieve pressure on the supply chain, she said.
Planet A Foods CTO Sara Marquart said: “Lindt represents the highest chocolate craftsmanship and best taste, and it feels incredible to create such a great product with such a significant company.”
It comes after London-based food tech company WNWN unveiled cocoa-free lookalikes of Cadbury’s, Tony’s Chocolonely’s and Terry’s top-selling bars in October.
At the time, WNWN CEO Ahrum Pak criticised the “unfair labour practices” and environmental impact of the originals they were inspired by.
However, in a letter to The Grocer, Planet A Foods CEO Maximilian Marquart criticised WNWN’s stance, stressing that “consumers love chocolate and respond poorly to their chocolate being scolded”.
“After all, chocolate is a beloved treat for many, and finger-pointing has never been an effective way to change behaviour,” he wrote.